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Matt J, I suggest you read towards the bottom of the "Tebbit attacks Cameron" thread, and hopefully that will correct your nonsensical strawmans.

No-one is going to allow the poor to "die on the streets" for crying out loud!

Reading this blog is sometimes like looking into the rear view mirror of the Conservative Party's past where leaders knew best, members did what they were told and everyone believed what the leader told them. Get over yourselves: that Tory party is dead. Mrs Thatcher killed it off.

"Mark Fullford": "I don't know what you've been told" oooh not listening to the party hierarchy might be dangerous. Read the manifesto it commits the party to income tax cuts at every level. That is not what Cameron is proposing for the manifesto.

Ted: "On the 1979 manifesto (which could probably be printed with little change in our next one as it doesn't lay down a timetable or targets)" Wake up and smell the coffee. First, the 1979 manifesto commits the party to cut every rate of income tax during the next parliament. Read it.

Matt J: "Maybe cameron will be like Mrs T. give us tax cuts in the third term."

Within weeks of the election, Mrs T delivered on the 79 manifesto promise and cut the top rate of income tax from 98% and 83% to 60% and cut the basic rate of income tax from 33% to 30% and also raised income tax thresholds. Within weeks--not in the third term. Then Chancellor Geoffrey Howe introduced the new income tax cuts in his JUNE 1979 budget speech thus: "That brings me to the keystone of our policy..."

"Both parties are to blame."

It is the state itself that is to blame. It is often too large to be governable.

You really are extremely ignorant, aren't you?

no john hustings i am not. i know about the healthcare systems around the rest of the world, i spend a lot of time reading up about them. but i've experienced the NHS and though its far from perfect, its still far better for the poor than a system of private insurance.

MattJ: I don't think you deserve to be taken seriously since you're an obvious "troll" and we must adhere to the ancient adage "don't feed the trolls", but you don't know what you're talking about.

The continental systems offer superior health care in every respect. Maybe one day you too will experience this.

"no john hustings i am not. i know about the healthcare systems around the rest of the world, i spend a lot of time reading up about them. but i've experienced the NHS and though its far from perfect, its still far better for the poor than a system of private insurance."

If you weren't ignorant you would know that I am not suggesting private insurance, and that the alternative to the NHS does not have to be private insurance.

People do not "die on the streets" in Holland, Sweden, France, Germany -- none of which have an NHS. If you've studied world healthcare systems so thoroughly, why did you make such foolish remarks?

Give it a rest Goldie. The old man needs his shirt ironed. And there's a pile of washing up in the sink.

Goldie, yes i am a uni student and i know its paid from taxes. im studying economics and politics! but the poor pay less in taxes at the moment than they would have to pay out in a system of private insurance.

John, sorry i was exaggerating. but i think i got my point across. the conservatives are a party committed to social justice now, we have to be seen to be true to that.

and compassionate tory, i never said she didn't, im just suggesting that cameron will, maybe not so soon as we would hope.

oh, and goldie, please explain the trolls bit, i am ignorant on that!

"Matt: according to your email you're a university student!"

Don't jump to conclusions just because somebody has a university email account - he might be a member of staff.

And Matt, would you recommend Exeter as a uni, as I am in the process of applying for postgraduate study there?

"John, sorry i was exaggerating. but i think i got my point across. the conservatives are a party committed to social justice now, we have to be seen to be true to that."

And it's "socially just" to have the worst healthcare system in the world in which thousands (especially the poorest) die needlessly every year?

Strange idea of social justice, that.

"and compassionate tory, i never said she didn't, im just suggesting that cameron will, maybe not so soon as we would hope."

Well, it ain't like Thatcher and it ain't good enough. She--and we--got a third term because she cut income tax and thereby revived the economy with what Howe in June 1979 called "the keystone of our policy" in the first two.

daniel, yes i would recommend Exeter (though dont go catered, the food is terrible). its a great uni.

and john, it isnt the worst healthcare system in the world nor do millions die needlessly every year e.g. life expectancy in UK is 75 for male and 79.8 for female. thats way higher than both USA and Germany.

"and john, it isnt the worst healthcare system in the world nor do millions die needlessly every year e.g. life expectancy in UK is 75 for male and 79.8 for female. thats way higher than both USA and Germany."

Yes it is the worst healthcare system, and I didn't say millions.

Stop making yourself ridiculous.

"We believe in national sovereignty".

Theres a huge amount of leeway. You could want to be a driving frce in the Eurpean project or you culd be wanting to leave the EU and do free trade policies instead. Theres an enormous gulf. The belief is vague.

"We believe in lower taxes."

I remember Osborne saying that he would investigate the idea of flat taxes. Does the belief stated above include that?

"We believe in limited government. But rolling back the state must never mean the weak are left behind"

What does that mean? Smaller government means potentially more people are left behind, and that means more of the worse off are left behind. The smaller the state and more poor people are affected. SIngle mothers and unemployed find themselves strugling to pay the bills.

In short, his beliefs are vague and arent very measurable. Its a farce and not even close to being any identifiable ideology.

"thats way higher than both USA and Germany."

That is not true. Check your facts before you debate this stuff.

sorry thousands then. dont be pedantic! and im not being ridiculous. how can a healthcare system be the worst in the world if it achieves brilliant life expectancy. i dont know about you, but to me thats what counts.

Don't feed the trolls means one should, as a matter of prudence, ignore the likes of MattJ unless they evidence some sign of wanting to discuss in a serious fashion.

"Yes it is the worst healthcare system"

It isn't the worst healthcare system in the world. The NHS isn't perfect but I think it's time people accepted that it's here to stay, largely because any politician that advocated its abolition would be committing electoral suicide.

"No, offering us what WE want and not want you (a small minority) want."

And when Andrew did you suddenly become able to speak on behalf of some 'silent majority', quite frankly, how the hell can you claim to speak for anyone except yourself?

"As a 19 year old, the post 1997 Tory Party for me stood for Homophobic, Extreme Racist, Little Englander's waving your Union Jack in your small rural towns."

As an 18 year old, what are you talking about?


"Get over Thatcher, Reagan et al (I wasn't even born when they were first elected).

Move On....... "

Neither was I, I am still intelligent enough to appreciate what they did.

Grow up.......

"sorry thousands then. dont be pedantic! and im not being ridiculous. how can a healthcare system be the worst in the world if it achieves brilliant life expectancy. i dont know about you, but to me thats what counts."

You are being ridiculous. The difference between thousands and millions is rather extreme. It might be a meaningless figure to you (because you're not really paying attention) but it's not to me.

According to Professor Sikora, 10,000 people die in Britain every year of cancer because British treatment is inferior to the *average* of other advanced European countries.

That's alot of deaths (and it only records cancer). But you make light of those deaths by muddling "thousands" with "millions" as if what I'm saying is meaningless.

On virtually all statistical comparisons with other advanced countries Britain comes bottom or close to bottom in standard of treatment. As I said earlier, visit the bottom of the "Tebbit criticises Cameron" thread for some links to websites that will provide you with these comparisons.

Our healthcare system is the worst in the world. It is undeniable. People are dying because of an ideology that the state must control the healthcare. No other advanced country has this system. It is only us. And is it a coincidence that we have the worst healthcare? I don't think so.

A social insurance system does not mean the poor will have to pay. They won't. The state can *finance* healthcare, but not provide it. There is a difference. A difference you don't seem to understand.

This is why I call you ridiculous. You don't know what you're talking about, and your basing your arguments on the socialist prejudices that were rammed into you as a kid. This is why you resort to emotional rhetoric like "the poor will die on the streets". If the poor are gonna die under any system, it's the system you are defending!

rite, just double checked the figures on the internet. the life expectancy figures of UK are higher than USA and the same as Germany. i read my lecture notes wrong before as well. still, when you think we spend only around 8% on healthcare as a perecntage of GDP compared to Germany's 10.4% or the USA's 13% that is very good going.

Goldie: not ignoring your post at 23:20 but I had other things to do for a while. Actually, I would expect DC to endorse most of the '92 Manifesto commitments that you list (though I am not suggesting that I necessarily expect to see them expressed in those terms). I do believe that he wants to reduce taxes as fast as we prudently can. I don't know whether a 20% basic rate of Income Tax would be a sensible target - my own priority would be tax cuts which simplify the system and reduce the compliance burden for businesses (especially employers).

I don't know whether a DC manifesto is likely to promise privatisation. I would expect some transfer of functions from the public sector to the private sector, but not called "privatisation" - Railtrack has rather tainted that concept.

DC has said that he won't reverse Devolution to Scotland and Wales. I don't recall any comments on the minimum wage but my guess is that it will stay.

More generally, as I think you worked out, I was just trying to make the point that most of the policies that DC has dumped were actually rather recent inventions. Values and principles are rather longer term things and I still don't see evidence that he has abandoned any of them. But, as I have admitted before, we shan't know for certain until we get to the phase where he starts to roll out detailed policies.

"The NHS isn't perfect but I think it's time people accepted that it's here to stay, largely because any politician that advocated its abolition would be committing electoral suicide."

Doesnt mean Cameron has to go on about how he believes in the fundemental principles of the NHS. In the long long long term, when it becomes so obvious that the NHS cannot continue to exist, he is doing the free market argument no good, and making things even more difficult. Not to mention anoying right wingers on this blog. ;)

"It isn't the worst healthcare system in the world. The NHS isn't perfect but I think it's time people accepted that it's here to stay, largely because any politician that advocated its abolition would be committing electoral suicide."

I said it's the worst system in the "advanced" world, Daniel. It might be marginally better than the healthcare in Estonia and Lithuania, but not by much.

And I don't see why it would be electoral suicide to advocate a change of system. People want "free" healthcare, they don't much care who provides it.

On privatisation - "Railtrack has rather tainted that concept."

Care to ellaborate on that one?

ok goldie, you win on the cancer thing, but i still maintain that there are worst healthcare systems in the world.

oh and i wasnt brought up socialist, i was brought up conservative.

i've already said i agree that the NHS needs changing, but more along the privatisation lines cameron suggests than the passports our last manifesto suggested or the USA have.

"i've already said i agree that the NHS needs changing, but more along the privatisation lines cameron suggests than the passports our last manifesto suggested or the USA have."

I wasn't suggesting passports. I was suggesting social insurance like France and Germany have. Cameron isn't advocating this. The state will continue to control the system, and as such, it will continue to fail.

"It isn't the worst healthcare system in the world. The NHS isn't perfect but I think it's time people accepted that it's here to stay, largely because any politician that advocated its abolition would be committing electoral suicide."

i agree daniel.

Rob G:

I think you make a powerful point: in a sense, Cameron is merely returning to the pragmatic, more centrist Major era, when we were actually in government. The policies he's dumping are the policies adopted in opposition. Now, I think, and most conservatives seem to agree, that those policies reflect our values and principles much better than the pragmatic-centrist one of a decade ago (and not a particularly successful periode it was...). Also, the Major government certainly drifted away from Thatcherism in some important aspects, particularly of "tone". But yes, in power the Conservatives were more pragmatic and yes Mrs T. didn't become more ideological and radical until later in her reign.

The point is, however, that times have moved on, and circumstances dictate politics.

I think Cameorn can lead the Conservatives to victory under the "And Theory of Conservatism". I think a healthy dose of tax and regulation reduction is central to any possible victory over Brown. I don't think that Brown can be defeated if we post as Blairites and indeed I think doing so is detrimental to our chances of winning.

PS: I think this article Article by Bruce Anderson is very pertinent. According to Anderson, Mrs. T spoke louder than she acted. He believes that Cameron is intent on implementing the motto: suaviter in modo, fortiter in re. I know Bruce personally. I think he is a very bright analyst. If he thinks that Cameron is genuinely a radical in sheep's clothes, I am willing to cut him some slack.

I am just very worried about the drift, and I think Letwin, who is very influential, is a political idiot. I think Cameron needs some push-back. That's what I'm trying to do here, anyway.

Rob L:On privatisation - "Railtrack has rather tainted that concept."

Care to ellaborate on that one?

I think most people think that Railtrack had unacceptably low safety standards which led to disasters like Potters Bar, Paddington and Hatfield. That may have been as much to do with the way the rail privatisation was carried out as the actions of the particular companies involved, but it does show that privatisations don't always lead to better results.


"I think Letwin, who is very influential, is a political idiot."

well there is something we can agree on then goldie

I am amazed at some of the negative comments. I think this was a fantastic speech that hits the nail right on the head. Ever since 1997 I have been canvassing hard for our party to get us back in and I have seen and heard at first hand swing voters telling me what they wanted and this fits exactly with what Cameron said today. I've been involved in industry for over 20 years working with customers and the public and those who are saying that we have to change the public to fit our thoughts are living in cloud cuckoo land. This is just not how things happen. People keep quoting Lady Thatcher but when she first came to power she quite rightly wasn't actually radical at all. That came later. At that time when the country was in disarray (and at the beck and call of the unions) what she was offering was the centre ground and she used very simple laymans language. But today is not 1979!! Many of the voters we later lost want different things and more qualitative (touchy feely) things today. Our party drifted into a shrill disdain in the mid to late 90s and came across as beancounters only too willing to experiment on society with little concern as to the consequences. I cannot understand why some people want to go back to that. Its as if some of you prefer to be in an idealogical debating society rather than practitioners in Govt.

"I said it's the worst system in the "advanced" world, Daniel. It might be marginally better than the healthcare in Estonia and Lithuania, but not by much."

You didn't use the word 'advanced', John. And I'm tempted to quibble with you about it being the worst in the 'advanced' world as well, given the suffering of those without private health insurance outside the major cities in the United States, to cite one example, but I won't pursue the point because it's late and I'm too tired to respond to the inevitable attempt to beat me into submission with a bamboozling array of statistics and/or quotations from a renowned thinker of the right in Ranters' Monthly or something.

Right-wing anger as Cameron denies he is 'betraying' party principles
The Independent
By Andrew Grice, Political Editor
Published: 31 January 2006

David Cameron is under mounting criticism from right-wing Tories who accuse him of abandoning the party's traditional principles and policies.

The Tory leader vowed not to repeat the mistake of recent Tory leaders by lurching to the right when he was under pressure, and said that his party would continue to occupy the political centre ground. He denied the charge of "betrayal" and accused his internal critics of "one- dimensional thinking". Mr Cameron's strategy has provoked a right-wing backlash at the private weekly meetings of Tory MPs, who are furious that he has downgraded tax cuts, and dumped policies such as setting up more grammar schools and subsidising patients opting for private health treatment.

Lord Tebbit, the former party chairman, yesterday voiced concerns shared by several Tory MPs. Although they are not going public yet, they have warned party whips that Mr Cameron will face a battle over the programme to emerge from his wholesale review of policies.

An alternative policy agenda will be drawn up by the right-wing Cornerstone group. One right-wing MP said: "There is a lot of concern. Our public silence should not be misinterpreted. He is still in his honeymoon phase and it's not the right time to speak out. But if he thinks we are going to lie down and take it, he is very wrong."

Lord Tebbit, who will question the Cameron strategy in a speech to the Bow Group today, said: "The centre ground has always been a morass. If all the parties mill around in the centre ground and the elector feels that it doesn't matter which one he votes for, it won't make a lot of difference, he will probably stay at home.

"We have now got about 18 million people who don't vote and that is close to the total number who vote Conservative and Labour together. That is dangerous. Mucking around in the middle ground, you might get one million votes one way or another, but you won't bring those people back into the democratic process."

Cameron allies believe the right-wing sniping may help to define the Tories in the voters' eyes, in the way that Tony Blair's battles with his party shaped New Labour. In a speech yesterday, Mr Cameron insisted he was right to embrace a "new politics" and accept that New Labour was closer to the Conservatives. He told the Demos think-tank that the Tories needed to reject the temptation of "easy answers based on one-dimensional thinking" such as grammar schools, tax cuts and more police on the beat. "Change is not a betrayal. It is a recognition and a fulfilment. It is a recognition that the challenges faced by Britain today are not the challenges of the 1970s," he said.

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article342127.ece

great, now we've got the press promoting the disunity again.

Goldie: I think we probably agree more than we disagree. I think a healthy dose of tax and regulation reduction is central to any possible victory over Brown. I certainly agree in relation to reduction in regulation. I hope tax reduction will also be possible but I would have reservations about tax cuts if they could be funded only by increased borrowing. But, as I have posted before, that shouldn't be necessary (unless the economy really nosedives) because it ought to be possible to identify quite a lot of public sector waste that nobody would really miss.

"it does show that privatisations don't always lead to better results."

Not really true. Due to years under nationalised control the railways in this country were structually falling apart due to state controlled mismanagement and underfunding. Railtrack simply requested extra funds to be able to make the improvements and upgrades, to ensure safety. The government refused, leaving the railway system in a complete mess, leading to accidents, which the government promptly blamed upon Railtrack and renationalised it.

i dont know why the rail privatisation was seen as such a failure. the railways were improving when labour took over, it was only a few crashes that gave it a bad image. still, maybe that could be one of cameron's manifesto commitments.

"I would have reservations about tax cuts if they could be funded only by increased borrowing."

Why? Why cant we cut spending? Think back to your As level macroeconomics, remember the Laffer Curve? Lower rates of taxation bring about higher rates of tax revenue.

"You didn't use the word 'advanced', John."

Well, I did very many times throughout my many posts. Granted I didn't say it *every* time, and occasionally it did get truncated; but the point was quite clear, I think:

i.e. I wasn't saying our healthcare was worse than that in Zambia (although, come to think of it, it might well be). I was saying it was worse than all comparable countries.

Although, if I were being tricky, I could weazle my way out of it and say that having the "worst system" is different to having the worst healthcare, and that as our system is the most centralised, that means it is also the least efficient, the most bureaucratic, and the most lumbering and unaccountable. But, if I'm being honest, that's not actually what I meant.

"And I'm tempted to quibble with you about it being the worst in the 'advanced' world as well, given the suffering of those without private health insurance outside the major cities in the United States, to cite one example, but I won't pursue the point because it's late and I'm too tired to respond to the inevitable attempt to beat me into submission with a bamboozling array of statistics and/or quotations from a renowned thinker of the right in Ranters' Monthly or something."

Well, the figures do suggest that American healthcare treatment is far superior to our own (and they certainly have alot more investment in drugs and other such treatments). But yes there are shortcomings with the American system, in that many people are without insurance. But as I'm not advocating an American system, I don't really need to defend private insurance.

But either way, if you're poor in America, and facing an operation, at least the chances are that you will be able to get it if you tried, whereas in this country you might well be placed on a waiting list and have your operation cancelled several times (as happens regularly). I am not sure how our system is "fairer" to the worst off.

"I would have reservations about tax cuts if they could be funded only by increased borrowing."


im with Rob G on this one. the laffer curve does bring higher revenue, but debt is not the answer. it should never be the answer. we need tax cuts to be sustainable in the long term, debt is not!

We all want the Conservatives back in government, but if its at the cost of all our principles that made us the Conservative Party then its a very hollow victory indeed. Thats the problem.

"i dont know why the rail privatisation was seen as such a failure. the railways were improving when labour took over, it was only a few crashes that gave it a bad image. still, maybe that could be one of cameron's manifesto commitments."

There *were* train crashes before privatisation you know.

yes john you're right, there were.

"We all want the Conservatives back in government, but if its at the cost of all our principles that made us the Conservative Party then its a very hollow victory indeed. Thats the problem."

how many times does it have to be said. Cameron is not getting rid of our principles. he just dropping a few policies. policies change to fit the times, principles never change.

"we need tax cuts to be sustainable in the long term, debt is not!"

Hence, cutting spending.

"Hence, cutting spending."

exactly, cutting spending not borrowing more is the answer.

"we need tax cuts to be sustainable in the long term, debt is not!"

We need tax cuts. Cameron doesn't think we do, criticising people who say we do need them today, well yesterday now. That is the problem.

"On the plus side, we have to acknowledge ... that spending on public services has markedly increased."

There's your problem, right there. Looks to me like thats changing principles.

"We need tax cuts. Cameron doesn't think we do, criticising people who say we do need them today, well yesterday now. That is the problem."

did he? all he was saying was economic stability should come first. he hasnt ruled out tax cuts at all.

He singled out those in the party who are calling for tax cuts to make the economy more competitive for special criticism.

"Just like Thatcher did in 1979," to sound as stupid as Cameron's moronic spin machine for a moment.

"all he was saying was economic stability should come first. he hasnt ruled out tax cuts at all."

By saying stability comes first, he is signalling that tax cuts threatern stability. Not only is that totally wrong, but it is damaging the case for tax cuts.

"Thinking which said that there's only one way to build a competitive economy, and that's through tax cuts."

he didnt rule out tax cuts, he said that claiming tax cuts were the only way to make the economy competitive was not right.

he is trying to give an all round economic policy - economics is more than taxes.


and rob, on the subject of increasing spending on public services not being a conservative principle. hasnt it?

changing the subject slightly, what does everyone think of this bit of cameron's speech: -

"Margaret Thatcher herself became increasingly worried that not everyone was participating in her property-owning democracy.

She became increasingly worried that the new, open economy was not tackling problems of family breakdown, crime, poor schooling, drug dependency and the decline of respect in parts of our inner cities.

She made a famous speech invoking religion as a means of enriching our sense of social obligation."

"he didnt rule out tax cuts, he said that claiming tax cuts were the only way to make the economy competitive was not right."

No he is ruling out tax cuts in the next manifesto. If you disagree, say so.

"She became increasingly worried that the new, open economy was not tackling problems of family breakdown, crime, poor schooling, drug dependency and the decline of respect in parts of our inner cities."

Yeah. The purpose of Thatcher, Major, Hague, IDS and Howard was to lead up to David Cameron, who unlike all of them, knows how to do it right. Get over yourselves.

Thatcher proposed conservative solutions, not reheated Labour policies.

i think he is not ruling them out in the next manifesto, but we'll have to see.

and yes i do disagree with ruling out tax cuts. i know they are a necessary part of making the economy competitive, but like i said earlier, we need to win the public's trust first.

i meant the religion bit. i think that mrs T was right to say religion is the answer to social justice. after all, most charities start up because their founders have religious or moral beliefs.

thats where cameron should start in his social justice pledge.

"think he is not ruling them out in the next manifesto, but we'll have to see"

Gideon Osborne has said, today, wrongly, the Tories didn't promise tax cuts in 1979, and that they think that is the model (despite the fact it never happened). Cameron's people have been spinning this for weeks.

the point of it is that she never promised SPECIFIC tax cuts. she just promised she'd cut income tax and simplify vat. she NEVER said "oh we'll cut taxes by 4 billion by doing this, that and the other." she was deliberately vague, just like cameron has to be to win back the public's trust.

"i think that mrs T was right to say religion is the answer to social justice"

Cant say I agree with you, or Mrs T on that one. Surely the whole idea of social justice can operate without religion, but on the general kindness of individuals?

"and rob, on the subject of increasing spending on public services not being a conservative principle. hasnt it?"

not that I was aware, I thought it was a Conservative principle to empower iundividuals and communities and to give them the tools to have the best possible healthcare and education etc. Who says they have to be provided by public services? Increasing spending on public services, is nothing more than a distraction.

"the point of it is that she never promised SPECIFIC tax cuts. she just promised she'd cut income tax and simplify vat. she NEVER said "oh we'll cut taxes by 4 billion by doing this, that and the other." she was deliberately vague, just like cameron has to be to win back the public's trust."

For the last time, no. She promised all rates would be cut--and delivered weeks later. He is not promising to cut any rates and claiming that that is what she did and what he intends to do. Geoffrey Howe said tax cuts were "the keystone of our policy," that is NOT Cameron's position. She was absolutely clear that income tax rates at all levels would be cut, not dependent on "stability," CUT.

They say love is blind, but this is ridiculous.

"she was deliberately vague, just like cameron has to be to win back the public's trust."

She was vague, but she still said she would cut taxes and actively made the case for them throughout her period in opposition. Cameron is doing nothing of the sort. The current tone of 'stability' over 'tax cuts' damages the case for tax cuts.

"Surely the whole idea of social justice can operate without religion, but on the general kindness of individuals?"

possibly, but where does the general kindness of individuals come from? for most people, its religion-inspired. they believe in a moral code.

anyway, have you never heard the american founding fathers statement that "liberty exists in proportion to virtue".

virtue comes from religion!

Thatcher made the case for income tax cuts at every party conference speech as Leader of the Opposition.

Tell us you think Cameron is going to do that.

"virtue comes from religion!"

That is quite a claim. The American founding farthers also believed in a seperation of church and state.

I see myself as having a moral code, but I am not religious. Am I going to hell?

ok ok, im not arguing about taxes now, its too late. maybe you're right. maybe i am. either way, we do agree on the importance of tax cuts. anyway, im goin to bed.

rob, dont bring hell into this. if you wanna discuss that ill give you my msn address and we can talk properly there.

on the subject of church and state, they believed that the state shouldn't sponsor one particular denomination or religion, not that it shouldnt seek to support and promote virtue and the benefitcial effects it has on society.

Ok, ok. Perhaps I shouldnt have mentioned hell. Just the fact that people can have moral codes and act in a compassionate way towards each other with or without religion. I dont disagree with the general message of Religions, that of 'be nice to each other'. But I dont like the whole idea of organised religion. However each to his own.

Anyway, just noticed that this post has nearly recieved as many posts as last weeks top rating. Impressive. And on that note, good night.

"Anyway, just noticed that this post has nearly recieved as many posts as last weeks top rating."

Lots of people in the party, MPs, councillors, activists, members, professional party, are fed up with Cameron on tax.

"Lots of people in the party, MPs, councillors, activists, members, professional party, are fed up with Cameron on tax"

or maybe just with tax generally?

"or maybe just with tax generally?"

Both.

I'm astonished that in a few late-evening hours this post received 170 odd comments!

They argue that trusting people should mean giving responsibility solely to individuals, rather than trying to share responsibility between individuals, society and the state.

But that argument, pressed to its conclusion, leads to anarchy.

Libertarian anarchist here replying: yup, sure does.

Dropping a FEW policies is fair enough...but how many u-turns have been performed in the last 7 weeks by Cameron?

If you change a whole raft of policies in so radical a manner as Cameron has done then obviously the principles have changed.


It will be interesting to contrast the two speeches by Cameron and Tebbit. I'm looking forward to the discussion on here. These two, very different speeches, are likely to highlight the current major divisions within the party in a succinct way.

Ed. Can I make a suggestion. Conservativehome.com should create a representative panel of floating voters to contribute to these dicussions, responding to things the party and David Cameron says so that this site doesn't fall into the trap of becoming another inward looking debating forum of interest only to the politically obsessed.

Any floating voter who wants to contribute to this discussion is free to do so: I am certainly a floating voter. I am not clear whether Rob regards himself as one of the "politically obsessed" or does that label only apply to those who disagree with him?

Cameron's speech, as reported, was notable for its utter vacuity......but then he does have a first in PPE. It seems that setting and NHS dentists have now taken the place of his last masterpiece in May 2005: cleaner hospitals and more matrons.

"Conservativehome.com should create a representative panel of floating voters to contribute to these dicussions,"

Ah the authentic voice of the new Conservative Party: let's close down debate about what our party should be doing and just have people reacting to what the leadership decides.

"It seems that setting and NHS dentists have now taken the place of his last masterpiece in May 2005: cleaner hospitals and more matrons. "

This is an excellent point. It would appear to me that the Tory leadership have not learnt the most important lesson from the last election campaign: lack of ambition. I doubt we can sell "setting" as the great transformative policy for education any more than "school discipline" last time round.

Tory Activist

Don't want to close down debate. Just want to inject reality into this private members club.

@Frank: if Tebbit had ever said anything in the last 20 years that was either electorally useful, or even just not unpleasant, I might be interested in reading a comparison between his bile and David Cameron's speech. As he seems to spend his life trying to dress up nasty innuendo as political comment, I'm happy to leave his utterances to be pawed over by his orgiastic acolytes; I'm sure Mr Heffer will have a LOT of red-faced puff to say about it on Saturday. Sadly, rather than cross-referencing his sneers with the Tebbit remarks and how they link back to JSMill's famous quote used in a dinner party by Sir Keith Joseph in a now-closed restaurant in 1975, I'll be out shopping and being nice to my friends. But I'm sure I'll catch up on it here later!

A propos of Tebbit. I was once in a queue at party conference trying not to respond to the whinnying of a home counties type in front of me. Jilly Cooper teeth, frayed hair etc. "Isn't it simply mahvlus that Lord Tebbit's comin' to speak?" she asked, teeth chattering, quite independent of her speech, with an excitement that was palpable. If you could witness that, and not think the party needs to change, well, umm, nurse -- NURSE! The SCREENS!!

Especially as schools already set for some 60% of their timetable, and where they don't it's for subjects like PE and some of the humanities.

Not only would setting's benefits likely be marginal at best for most of these subjects, but the cost would also be horrendous. The main barrier relates to the availability of staff and resources for the timetable.

And as for dentistry, private schemes are no only inexpensive, but offer markedly better service than NHS only practices.

"inject reality"

Let's just talk about the mistakes the leadership is making first. That is the biggest reality check the party needs.

As he seems to spend his life trying to dress up nasty innuendo as political comment...

An apt description of your post, Hope Nott.

Just want to inject reality into this private members club.

Private members' club = open forum.

Hmmm.

James,

This is not an open forum. It has all the characterstics of a modern version of a Tory gentleman's club. Disgruntled 'Tories' going round complaining and grumbling into their metaphorical port. There is nothing open about the debate here. It is old, stale and stinks of exclusivity.

What you mean is:

"there are people on this board who aren't fully signed up members of Opus Dave and who have the wit and inclination to point out the inconsistencies in the Party's current position."

The rotters, eh?

This is not an open forum.

Yes it is.

There is nothing open about the debate here.

It's far more open that Cameron's cheerleaders want it to be.

"There is nothing open about the debate here."

Except that anyone is free to contribute?

"It is old, stale and stinks of exclusivity."

You mean it is not expressing the "right" views?

John

No rather it is just rehashing the same old views, in a tired way, by the usual suspects.

"No rather it is just rehashing the same old views, in a tired way, by the usual suspects."

So "the same old views" are the wrong views then?

"No rather it is just rehashing the same old views, in a tired way, by the usual suspects."

But we want to talk about rehashing the old view about "moving to the centre," expressed in a "moderate and reasonable" way, by the usual suspects (the plotting "modernisers" who followed Portillo around and the public shcool boys who live off inherited wealth who comprise the core of Cameron's Notting Hill Set).

Rob - got to disagree -
This is not an open forum. It has all the characterstics of a modern version of a Tory gentleman's club.

This is an open forum that let's in female none-members. People may not always agree but I find there is an active free debate going on most days.

Party Guy

Grumble, grumble, terrible thing all this change, I was talking to the chap in the club. Do you know they let ladies onto the Conservativehome.com web site these days.

Did you know some women want things that modernisers don't like, like lower taxes, school choice and social insurance?

Rob's really complaining that the clubs not exclusive enough. Look at the lower middle class riff raff it admits, with their concerns about social mobility.

What ghastly arrivistes ;-)

I was talking to the chap in the club... nice chap... heir to a huge fortune... lovely house... Notting Hill you know... parents bought it for him... just the right sort of chap we want running the party... all this talk of tax cuts, it's just so unnecessary you know... we never had all that in the party in my day you know... not until that ghastly woman Thatcher came along... they'd never let her in my club...

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